Güitite Tree from Costa Rica joins Fight against Cancer

Acnistus A, rborescens, Güitite Tree from Costa Rica joins Fight against Cancer

A very common Costa Rican tree could become the newest ally in the fight against cancer. The tree is called Acnistus arborescens, known as the tree “güitite” to Ticos. This species, common in deforested areas of the Pacific and the Central Valley is ideal for developing and orchids and attracts birds but also was found, a series of studies, that the fruit and some of the chemical components are effective in fighting cancer.

That’s why the Center for Natural Products Research (CIPRONA) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) has been working, for the past year, in technologies to create raw material compounds from the güitite tree.

The tree (stems and leaves) shows that they are effective in inhibiting cancer cells, it is important to have a source of raw materials and for that they are experimenting with ways to isolate the active compound of this plant and offer-eventually-the pharmaceutical market.

The entire research process on news compounds process takes about 10 years, during those years you have to make sure you have enough raw materials, because you will need a good amount of the compound and that is precisely what researchers are doing in the lab.

Creating a güitite nursery is in the works in order to have sufficient raw materials, because the compounds do not always occur in a large enough quantities, because climate and other environmental conditions. One of the easiest ways is to have the plant is in a controlled environment, then you know what you are doing to the plant and can see how much compound produces.

Tests, procedures, and medications that contain these compositions will be very expensive to produce because the investment is very large.

The State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, United States, work with güitite and the raw materials from Costa Rica me have proven effective, they may choose to extract the active compound from Costa Rica supplies, opening a trading window for the country.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica

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